Sleep

Sleeping chart for Feb. 9-10
Last night's sleep activity

How long does it take for the average person to fall asleep?

I have this app on my phone that is supposed to keep track of my sleep state, so that it doesn’t wake me up when I’m in a deep sleep. I don’t really understand it.

First of all, it seems to wake me up when I’m in what it calls REM sleep. How does it figure I’m in REM sleep when it’s only got an accelerometer and a microphone to make measurements? And doesn’t REM sleep mean I’m dreaming? Is it easiest to wake up when you’re dreaming?

If that chart is to be believed, then I am dreaming through most of the night there, but I don’t really remember any of it. Maybe I should start trying to remember dreams and share them here. I can’t really claim to have interesting dreams, though. I don’t even have bad dreams. I can count the number of nightmares I’ve had since I was eight years old on one hand. I’ve had some, let’s say, weird dreams since then, but every time I do I can usually attribute it to my body warning me from sleeping in a poor position. When I sleep on my arm and pinch a nerve, that’s when I get a weird dream to get me out of that position. Maybe that’s why it’s easiest to wake up during REM sleep.

I don’t know if I snore or not, but it’s likely since everyone in my family does. The paid version of this app I use is supposed to be able to record the noises you make, but I’m not interested in paying a dollar for that feature. It works well enough at not sounding an alarm when I’m in a deep sleep.

If I try to break it down, what happened when I was younger to lift that bad dream burden? The story I like to tell is that around that time, I was taken to a pow wow, and my native American neighbor bought me a dream catcher. I hung it near my bed and I haven’t had a serious bad dream in over 15 years.

That’s a true story, and it’s a cute idea, but come on. Dream catchers don’t do anything (not that I don’t still keep it near my bed). So what really happened? Did the dream catcher give me a sense of security? A sort of placebo effect? Or maybe I was at an age where bad dreams were less common anyway. Or, most likely, I had finally been media saturated enough that dreams really didn’t matter. That’s kind of a sad way to look at it. It’s more fun to just trust in the dream catcher.

As for not getting enough sleep, or just laying in bed for a half hour to an hour trying to sleep, I probably should just be more active. Physical exercise, genuine fatigue, should be the reason I’m tired, not just because I had to wake up early that day.

Thanks to this blog, I’ve been waking up consistently every day. Maybe sometime soon it will even feel normal to be awake before the sun rises. Hard to say.

Sleep is interesting though.

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